Bengal Warriors made it to the vivo Pro Kabaddi final for the first time in their history after a 37-35 win over U Mumba at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Sukesh Hegde was Bengal Warriors’ best raider on the night with eight Raid Points and Rinku Narwal picked up four Tackle Points.
Neither side managed to stamp their mark on the game early on with the score tied at 7-7 after the opening quarter of the contest. Bengal Warriors eventually got a slight numerical edge following a two-point raid by Hegde in the 12th minute.
Mohammad Nabibakhsh’s swift raids then helped Bengal Warriors drive home their advantage by enforcing the first All-Out of the game in the 16th minute to take a 14-10 lead. More good work, mostly, by Bengal Warriors’ raiders helped them build on their lead before halftime and ensured that they went into the break with a 18-12 lead.
The second period got underway in a similar manner to the first as both teams looked to feel their way into the contest. U Mumba though had more of a sense of urgency about them and ate into the lead of Bengal Warriors, who had a circumspect approach following the restart.
However, just when it looked like U Mumba were finding their way back into the game after a four-point Super Raid completely altered the complexion of the match. They enforced a second All-Out on U Mumba in the 31st minute to extend their lead to 30-20 and take control of the match. U Mumba responded with four unanswered points after the reset to ensure that the game would go down to the wire.
A four-point Super Raid by U Mumba substitute Ajinkya Kapre then made it a four-point game with less than four minutes left on the clock. The Season 2 champion soon put the cat amongst the pigeons by enforcing an All-Out that made it 35-33 with less than three minutes left to play. A successful tackle and a successful raid after the reset made it all square at 35-35, but a well-executed Dash by Jeeva Kumar and a successful tackle on Arjun Deshwal in the buzzer raid gave Bengal Warriors a two-point win.
Bengal Warriors –
Best Raider – Sukesh Hegde (8 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Rinku Narwal (4 Tackle Points)
U Mumba –
Best Raider – Abhishek Singh (11 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Surinder Singh (4 Tackle Points)